April 9, 2011

Paul Ryan's Big Oil Budget

By CAPAF's Daniel J. Weiss and Richard W. Caperton
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-WI) proposed FY 2012 budget resolution is a backward-looking plan that would benefit big oil companies at the expense of middle-class Americans. It retains $40 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes while completely eliminating investments in the clean energy technologies of the future that are essential for long-term economic growth.
This budget would lock Americans into paying high, volatile energy prices. It would ensure that millions of clean energy jobs are created oversees–not here in the United States. It is a path backward to Bush-Cheney Big Oil energy policies that cost jobs and harm American competitiveness. In short, the Ryan plan ensures that we lose the high-stakes competition for the $2 trillion worldwide clean tech market.

In addition to receiving $40 billion of unnecessary tax breaks, Big Oil does not pay its fair share of royalties for oil and gas produced from publicly owned waters. The Government Accountability Office estimates that a loophole in a 1990s oil-and-gas law could deprive the treasury of $53 billion in lost royalties. In February, the House Republicans overwhelminglyvoted against recovering these royalties

The Ryan budget undermines our economy in another way. It goes backward by continuing to allow harmful, costly pollution. Its attacks on "environmental regulations" ignore their economic benefit. The Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, determined that the Clean Air Act has generated $20 in benefits for every $1 in cleanup costs—a return on investment that would make Warren Buffet proud.
Paul Ryan's proposed budget resolution would keep Big Oil fat and happy while condemning the rest of us to high energy prices, job losses to other nations, and air pollution. Rather than foster innovation and economic growth like President Obama's proposed budget, it is a path to perdition.
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